Tuesday, June 28, 2011

June in One One Thousand

The New Orleans-based photography ezine One One Thousand has featured some strong, thoughtful, and challenging B&W work in June. 

This work includes the exceptionally strong as well as witty work by once-Washington, DC-based, but now Portland, Or, based photographer Lauren Henkin in her portfolio The Other Charleston, about the Charleston in West Virginia (see her image Pressed for Time, above).

I suspect Lauren has been looking long and well at urban landscape work by Walker Evans, especially his work in Bethlehem, PA from 1935, but she also brings to this work an exceptionally careful compositional eye, a concern for making the most from the smallest number of elements in the frame, and a a healthy sense of irony.

Lauren's work is available to us in a variety of ways, including her website  at laurenhenkin.com, her hand made books at laurenhenkinbooks.com, her blog at laurenhenkinblog.com, and her interviews with gallerists, curators, educators, artists, and others at Photo Radio --  photoradioblog.com.

Also on One One Thousand this month, displaying its own particular brand of wit and irony, has been the portfolio of St Augustine, FL-based photographer Alexander Diaz, showing us Florida's Mountains. 

If you missed the fact that Florida has mountains, be assured the "mountains" in Diaz' images are not the mountains familiar from traditional landscape photography of the Ansel Adams school, but mounds of earth thrown up by the displacement of the land to make way for suburban sprawl.

Through the use of carefully-chosen camera angles, Diaz shows us "resemblances of natural landscapes . . . metaphors, . . . indications of a transformation and act as painful reminders of a natural grandeur that no longer exists." He goes on, "I photograph these mounds to remind the viewer of the beauty that has been lost to progress. Not only are we losing what our society finds aesthetically pleasing, but more importantly, we are rapidly degrading what sustains us."

Diaz' work is a reminder that part of what concerns photographers today is the effect of photographing something on the way we see it, or the ways the act of photography shapes the reality we see, or think we see. The effect of this work requires, in part, holding together the image we see and the thing we know intellectually we are seeing photographed, as well as the tradition of landscape photographs to which Diaz' work alludes.

More of Diaz' work is on view at his website, http://alexdiazphoto.com/home.html.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for the thoughtful comments and inclusion in this blog! Best, Lauren